Daily news - 12th October 2021

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UK news

Evaluation of the impact of alcohol minimum unit pricing (MUP) on crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol came into effect in Scotland on 1 May 2018. This study looks at the impact of MUP on crime and disorder, public safety and public nuisance in Scotland | Public Health Scotland, UK

Minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland had 'minimal impact' on crime

The introduction of minimum unit pricing of alcohol (MUP) in Scotland had a minimal impact on drink-related crime, a new study suggests | BBC, UK

Combined treatments are the most effective to stop smoking, study finds

Combination therapies, particularly varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) combined, are the most effective tobacco cessation pharmacotherapies, the largest review to examine the effectiveness and safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and medicines that people use to quit tobacco has found | University of Bristol, UK

We need you to help spread positive recovery messages!

Taking Action on Addiction is a campaign which aims to reframe existing perceptions of addiction and build awareness of the causes and nature of addiction that improves understanding, reduces prejudice and enables more people to ask for and receive help.  It's a major campaign that will be launched during Addiction Awareness Week running October 18-24, 2021 | Action on Addiction, UK

How Education is Professionalising the Cannabis Sector

Although cannabis has a rich history dating back thousands of years for medicinal use, its illegality has halted structured scientific research to understand its benefits. We are seeing progress on this front, but the effects of prohibitionist ideologies continue to impact the ways in which medical cannabis is viewed | Volteface, UK

Ep 8: Alcohol and older adults with Dr Sarah Wadd & John Slater

In this episode we explore alcohol use and problems amongst older adults. Alcohol problems have been rising in recent decades amongst older drinkers, despite falls in consumption in other age groups | Alcohol @Problem@ podcast, UK

Paul Merson on gambling addiction: 'I wouldn't wish this on anybody'

Paul Merson won two league titles, the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup with Arsenal. He played for England at the World Cup and European Championship. He has also lost more than £7m to gambling in a life dogged by addiction | BBC, UK

Drug courier told police Covid blocked cannabis smell

A cannabis courier who claimed he could not smell his illegal cargo because he had recently recovered from Covid has been jailed for more than a year | BBC, UK

Luton drugs courier Rheiss Carty dumped cocaine and cash in wheelie bin

A drugs courier who dumped 10 bags of cocaine and nearly £17,000 in cash in a wheelie bin while running away from police has been given a suspended prison sentence | BBC, UK


International news

Drug use at music festivals: reducing harm and protecting health and well-being

Trinity research provides vital evidence to underpin new government approaches to harm reduction for drug use at music festival | Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Councillors agree motion to explore safe injection centre for drug users

Motion proposed by Cllr Mick Duff who represents Tallaght Central electoral area | Irish Times, Ireland

Gardai set to spend €600,000 over next four years on drug testing for officers

An internal application for funding said the estimated cost for checking around 1,900 candidates, trainees, and gardai would be €150,000 | Irish Mirror, Ireland

Kratom: the creation of a threat

A pre-review of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), a tree native to Southeast Asia, and its two principal psychoactive alkaloids..., is on the agenda of the 44th WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) for their 11-15 October 2021 meeting | TNI, The Netherlands

#MoreThan Video Contest – Call for Applications

The International Network of People Who Use Drugs, together with the Rights Reporter Foundation, launches the #MoreThan Video Contest to promote a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate approach in presenting the lives of people who use drugs. The deadline for applications is November 15th, 2021 (11:59 pm CET) | Drug Reporter, Hungary

Many adults with breast cancer use cannabis but don’t tell their doctors

Survey results suggest that patients need more information from physicians about marijuana’s potential benefits and risks | EurekAlert, USA

Overdose deaths in Tampa Bay's Black community are skyrocketing

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Keith McCants was to be the keynote speaker at a September meeting to address a subject he knew too well, the rise in opioid use among Black people | Medical Xpress, USA

Big Tobacco comes out swinging against Biden’s Build Back Better bill

Democrats want to pay for Biden’s agenda with a tax on cigarettes. Now, trade associations supported by tobacco giants are pushing back | Politico, USA

New laws won’t drive vapers back to smoking say experts

Leading public health experts have rejected warnings that a new ban on importing nicotine vaping products without an Australian doctor’s prescription could drive vapers back to smoking, as evidence for the potential harms of vaping grows | MJA Insight, Australia

Can prohibition work? The battle over the government’s tough new vaping ban

With more Australian kids picking up vapes and some as young as 13 reportedly becoming addicted to nicotine, the federal government has taken action | The New Daily, Australia


Blogs, comment and opinion

Collective Voice hosts webinar with criminal justice experts

On Monday 27 September, Collective Voice hosted its latest webinar for the drug and alcohol treatment field, focussing on the intersection of substance misuse treatment and the criminal justice system | Collective Voice blog, UK

An intoxicating mix: getting to grips with Scotland's addiction to alcohol

When July brought the devastating, though not entirely unexpected, news that in 2020 Scotland racked up a record number of drugs deaths there was no shortage of government ministers with platitudes to offer | HolyRood, UK

Opposition for opposition's sake won't address Scotland's drug-death emergency

Long lobbied for, and previously resisted, the new lord advocate’s announcement of a shift in drugs policy felt sudden and seismic | Holyrood, UK

The Trip Report

Through the work of organisations such as WEDINOS, The Loop, and SaferParty, we know a little more about the drugs in circulation. The report provided is a summary of their findings over the last week | Cameron Scally, UK

Another Round? What really happens when you microdose alcohol

In Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s latest film, Another Round, friends Martin, Tommy, Peter and Nikolaj agree to conduct a little experiment: they will stay moderately drunk throughout the day to see how it affects their social and professional performance | Conversation, UK

The Uncovered Truth: How the opium poppy cultivation in Kyrgyzstan ended

TalkingDrugs is excited to present to its readers an extract from Sputnik.kg on the origins of opium cultivation in Kyrgyzstan. This is a great insight into the establishment of a global opium producer, and the impact that drug trafficking had on the industry | Talking Drugs, UK

Drug law reform in the Asian Century - podcast

This episode takes a long view of global drug policy, arguing that shifts in global power have always had a significant impact on drug control throughout the last 200 years | Toby Seddon, UK

Homelessness in numbers

To mark World Homeless Day 2021, the SSA’s Natalie Davies examines the data to understand what homelessness looks like, who it affects and what harms it causes | SSA blog, UK

Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research

Our study, published this week in The Medical Journal of Australia, found most e-liquids contained chemicals known to cause respiratory issues and lung damage when inhaled. Most contained ingredients that have since been banned by Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) | Conversation, Australia